Sarah Richardson joins us to discuss Apple's medical record expansion from 13 to 39 healthcare systems. Does this signal the start of the revolution? An important discussion on gender pay equity and what are CIO's spending their time on?
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Welcome to this Week in Health it where we discuss news, information and emerging thought with leaders from across the healthcare industry. This is episode number 12. It's Friday, March 30th. Today, apple expands their move into healthcare. Is this finally the moment we've all been waiting for , an important discussion about gender pay equity within healthcare it and the priorities of the c I o.
This podcast is brought to you by Health Lyrics, a leader in moving healthcare to the cloud. To learn more, visit health lyrics.com. My name is Bill Russell, recovering Healthcare, c i o, writer and consultant with the previously mentioned health lyrics. Today I'm joined by one of the leading voices in consumer digital transformation, who is a visionary and pragmatic.
It's one of the, one of, one of the things I love about her, and it's a wonderful combination. Today I'm excited to have this, the California I for Healthcare Partners. Uh, Sarah Richardson join us. And so when I say healthcare partners, do I have to always say healthcare partners? A part of DaVita Medical Group?
Is that like taboo not to say those together. No, we are currently healthcare partners, a DaVita medical group until our close with Optum, in which case we will then have probably a new level of branding. But for now, that is how we like to, uh, coin ourselves. So that's, that's something we have in common.
So we've, we're both, I've, I've gone through a big merger and that's why I'm a former c I O and you're going through a, a, a merger now, and that's, that's a pretty exciting time. I Are you getting a feel for what it's gonna be like in the, in the new, in the new order or new world that you're entering? Yeah, no, absolutely.
And it's funny because what I love about this whole experience right now is that all of us that are in the IT leadership role within DaVita Medical Group and doing this work, we all say this is not our first rodeo. None of us has not been somewhere else before. And so us collectively being able to come together and create that new structure and future for our existing teams, it brings a lot of confidence to the organization.
'cause we've all done it before. Uh, and more importantly, we're all excited about doing it because you, every time you do one of these, you learn. Uh, I helped one of my friends through a big merger acquisition recently. In fact, I wrote an article a couple years ago about how to maintain employee engagement during a merger and acquisition, and he called me and said, I can't tell my teammates what I wanna say.
Will you write an article about what I wanna say to them? And I'll just give you content. So I interviewed him and wrote the piece, and it was a, it was a huge win on, on both parts. And so, you know, either we've done it ourselves or done it with others. And so when you, every time it gets better. Um, and this one's just really unique because of the size and the scope and the level of professionalism that's tied to it.
Yeah, Optum, Optum's a great company. We could actually do a whole podcast on handling mergers and acquisitions. There's so much going on in healthcare and people wanna know, how do I navigate my career through this thing? So maybe after. After we go through this merger, we'll have you back on and we'll, we'll talk about that.
Let. Let me give you some of your, uh, let me give you some of your bio. Let me give the, the listeners some of the, some of the bio. So, Kansas City Business Journal says, uh, woman who, uh, uh, noted you as a woman who means business, a next gen leader and a rising star. Um, I mean, those are some great accolades, uh, BSS and hospitality administration and master in business.
That's a good combination for where healthcare is going. Uh, Sarah spent six years in hotel and casino industry in Las Vegas before making a purposeful decision that she could, uh, make a larger impact on health on the healthcare industry. So I sort of happened into healthcare and then fell in love with it.
You actually stepped back and said, there's a place where I can make a difference and chose to go into healthcare. Uh, talk to us a little bit about how you, how you made that move. It's, it's interesting because everything always come full circles, we like to say in our lives. So I was, and I still to this day, I love the hospitality industry and I'm spending more and more time doing more, uh, I think I call 'em side gigs and, and, and speaking and, and consulting and life coaching and whatnot with a lot of hospitality, uh, professionals that I know.
But I was in the hospital or hotel business. I was young enough that working, you know, seven days a week, 90 hours a week, and opening these megas was not a big deal in where I wanted to start. Understand what work balance. I knew that that would have to do something different. So two things were the catalyst though.
It wasn't like I just woke up and said I wanna be more purposeful in healthcare. Um, I was working for an airline that was a startup, and we all went there. It was in Las Vegas. We knew that it was a good chance to go, go bankrupt. So I started going to grad school while I was there because I knew that I was gonna need to have the next level of education.
Well, while I'm going to grad school, they went bankrupt. I'm like, okay, now what? Well, I happened to be in my primary study group in grad school was a guy who worked, uh, at the county hospital. And he would always tell me about doing it in the hospitals and, and the, the choices that they had to make because it was the indigent care facility, never had any money, et cetera, et cetera.
And I'm like, Wow. You know, you can really start to bring these things together. So in a nutshell, hospitality is really healthcare and hotel. They don't run very differently. And that used to bother people. When I said that a ho a hospital runs a lot like a casino, they'd be like, oh, but there's patients here.
I, I get that the missions are slightly different, trust me. But you still have food services and HVAC and facilities and it. You have all the same components, it's just a different core competency that runs them. Um, but I'll tell you, I think my first love will always be hospitality. It's now being able to bring those two worlds consistently together.
And here I'm 18 years later in healthcare and the patient experience is the big thing. Um, and it really does resonate. Uh, I dunno if I was smart or lucky, maybe a little bit of combination of both. I won't tell you that at 19 and 22 I was. I was really strategically thinking about what I was gonna be doing in 25 years.
Yeah, no, that's, um, yeah, I mean, that's fascinating. And the two are very similar. I've, I've, I've seen that in terms of the way you describe a hospital and how it's similar to, you know, it has beds, it has rooms, it has, uh, it just a whole bunch of those kinds of services. Is there anything you're working on and we typically, every, uh, new guest we ask, you know, is there anything you're working on that you're excited about that you, that you wanna share with us?
Sure. I have to just be transparent and twofold. Number one, we are actively working towards what we call day one readiness for our close with Optum. I mean, there's just a huge, we've been a part of, of DaVita Kidney care for over five years. It's been a phenomenal relationship, but after five years you share a lot of systems and so there's a lot of separation and a lot of activities to occur to make sure that, 'cause here's the deal, like anything it related, a day after close.
Phones need to work, servers need to work, people expense a paycheck, all the logistics that go into all the backend type of planning. So really excited about the day one readiness, making sure all of our systems work that all of our teammates are aligned appropriately. So that's part's really cool. And the, and then corollary, we're still running our local business.
We're doing a lot in the population health sector, doing a lot with utilization management. A lot with transitions of care, clinician and physician experience quality. Those all continue to be just the things at the forefront and, uh, probably most excited about some work we've really been able to accomplish.
Recently in transitions of care, we completely took a homegrown care management system and flipped it into a, an industry system that. Is already like reaping massive amounts of rewards in our ability to only care for our patients, provide a, an environment where our teammates can be at, do their best work.
Yeah. I, and I skipped over this in your bio, but, um, uh, DaVita has, or, uh, healthcare partners have 600,000 managed care patients, and I know a lot of hospitals would love to replicate that. That model and, and, and that gives you a leg up on the, on the popula population health side. Um, alright, so we've gotta get to the show.
This is, uh, . So, uh, you ready? So here's what we do. I pick a story, you'll pick a story, and we'll just go back and forth. So I'll start us off. The, uh, big news actually came out yesterday. We actually had different stories picked out at the beginning of the week and then yesterday happened, and a big announcement.
13 hospitals that partnered with Apple around their personal medical record has now become 39 hospitals. And that's a big deal. It means it's, it's starting to get some, um, starting to get some, uh, momentum. I'm not gonna talk about, there's, there's a bunch of places you can read about that. Healthcare It news is, is, uh, the story I looked at, but the story I'm gonna focus in on is, um, is a story from the Harvard Business Review that has last week's guest, anise Chopra and David Blumenthal.
Uh, both very active, uh, in this movement and in the government. And they talk about Apple's Pact with 13 healthcare systems might actually disrupt the healthcare industry. And let, let me just give you a couple things here. Uh, it could be, it could herald truly disruptive change in the US healthcare system.
The reason it could liberate. The reason is it could liberate healthcare data for game-changing, game-changing new uses, including empowering patients as never before. And they go on to talk about, um, a world in which patients have access to their data and they can now sh share it if people want to hear more about that.
Anish and I talked about it last week and Che and I talked about it a couple, uh, when it, it first came out, the 13 systems, that this really could be a game changer. So, Uh, you know, why it can be a, a game changer in terms of liberating the data. They also gave us some obstacles and the first obstacle they get gave us, and this was before the announcement, was large number of hospitals and doctors have to follow the lead of the 13 systems.
And it seems like, hey, we're over that first obstacle. The second one is the opportunities for fraud and abuse. And we, we, obviously that's still a daunting task and we have to figure that out. Third is once new companies start facing applications, Everything's gonna depend on the quality of those applications, but I have a lot of confidence in that area.
The second one's gonna be a little harder. I guess my question to you is, are we finally at the starting line? Is it, does this Apple announcement going from 13 to 39, are we finally at the starting line for this, uh, consumer revolution within healthcare? Or are we, are we still being a little over overly optimistic?
Anything Apple does has hype. I mean, come on, that's what they're known for. But I think about. So one of the things I love about Apple is they talk about it needs to be simple, it needs to be elegant, it needs to be easy. You think about how they, they've historically always designed their products and I laugh because we, we at my house we're a house divided.
It's either an Android house or it's an Apple house, and it's this constant battle. And yet I can't imagine my life without my Apple products. And it's not because I'm an evangelist for Apple. It's that. Everything I do revolves around my Apple products, my MacBook, my iPad, my iPhone. I'd be more upset if I couldn't find my iPad than like my shoes in the morning because I live my entire life on that device.
In fact, that's how we're communicating right now. Yeah, and you do that 'cause they're easy. Are they? If, are they gonna be able to take that easy, the easy button and move it into healthcare? That, I guess that's the question. They will. So long as Apple's able to, uh, continue to push and we, we overhype again, the whole interoperability and this, that and the other thing.
When you look at your, if you go to your Apple phone and you go to Health Kit, your information's already there. It's already telling you the things that you're doing. So long as the E M R vendors, so long as the third party applications that allow themselves to connect into Health Kit, like even today I use Vitality at Work and some other things.
They're all connected to healthcare already. So as long as we continue to make sharing that information easy, um, then yeah, I mean at the end of the day, apple already has all of our information. What's the difference if they also have our health information? Now I. Simulate that information to make it easier to share.
It'll be interesting how to get that information back outta healthcare. So if I go, if I go see you as a patient and you're a specialist that has no history with me and all my information's on my phone, we have to make it easy and at my discretion to give you the information in my phone to you if you're somehow not then connected into the Apple ecosystem yet.
And that's, uh, I mean, so that's going to be the key. And, and I've written a couple articles about this and, um, you know, the thing is, if, if we're able to push the easy button, if we're able to walk into that clinic that we've never been to before and with our iPhone, you know, just do the, the Apple Pay thing except it's, uh, you know, our health record going over and all of a sudden we, we we're not handed a clipboard.
They have our information, we're checked in, we get to the doctor, and he's actually, even though we haven't been there before, he or she is looking at our entire, the clinician has our entire medical record and maybe not our entire medical record, but at least, uh, the parts that are gonna be, uh, relevant for.
For that initial visit, they may need to request images, they need to need to request other aspects. Uh, because I mean, the, the idea today of having the entire medical record on the phone is probably a little farfetched, but probably not in the future. I mean, we should be able to get to this common record that sort of moves around with you.
It's sort of like the, uh, For lack of a better term, it's sort of like the common app I'm taking my daughter to look at, uh, colleges and they have this common app that the various, uh, colleges share. And if we can get to that common framework for enough hospitals, I. We are gonna make this help. It is gonna be a lot of things, right?
So it's not only Apple bringing the, the easy button and the ecosystem. It's also gonna be the health systems doing the heavy lift on creating that framework, that data and the federal government that are doing some things around that as well. I, it's, this is gonna be interesting to me. I think, I think this is the beginning.
I think this is the start. I think Apple has finally gotten to the starting line. I think, uh, Amazon is really close to getting to the starting line with their . Their announcement and the things that they're going to be doing. Um, I, I think we're, we're right on the cusp of a, a huge digital, uh, transformation.
Um, it'll be interesting to see how CIOs, how CIOs sort of address that. So you have, you have a story and I, I, I'm looking forward to this, to this conversation.
Yeah, so do you want me to continue on the Apple path or, uh, you, you can, if you have more to say on the Apple path, by all means. But then, then feel free to kick it to your, whenever you're ready, kick it to your, your other story. Yeah, I think it is. Briefly, as we, as we close the Apple thought is that when you think about having your information on your phone, it's important for you, like you start doing your genetic testing and I remember being at the Patient Experience Conference last year for Southern California hens and that one of the gentlemen presenting talked about
Having his 23 and me profile done, and when he was out of town and he was injured and a physician prescribed to him a blood thinner, he said, Hey, based on my genetic profile, it's actually not gonna be a good fit for my treatment. He also happens to be a physician, so. But I think about my, my mom who's in her late seventies, and for her to have her information on her phone or for me to have her information on, on the phone, it's key as you start to have elder care or if you have children, you know, your own history.
But to be able to really be tracking what's happening in your family. 'cause most of us have the proxy for our parents as they get older. Um, and if it's fallacy to think that they're not using their phones. I mean, she's got Alexa tied into her phone and anything. So I'm already thinking Amazon and Apple are already part of her
Everyday ecosystem. That's, that's common for all of us. I mean, we live our lives around about four major players out there, including Facebook and Amazon and Google and Apple. I mean, that's kind of our lives today. It makes sense that they help us start to manage our care, so, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, no. One of the things that, uh, like sort of hit me this last week, and I, and I like to go out and find a cool article almost every day and then post it on LinkedIn and Twitter and, and see what kind of traction we get and what people are caring about, what's resonating.
And it continues to be this whole thing about gender equality and, and how you get to, um, get called getting to equal. And Accenture put out an article recently. What I loved about it is they interviewed 22,000 people in 34 countries. So it wasn't just the myopic view of what we're doing in America. And they talked about getting to equal and what those drivers were, and they talked about.
Bold leadership being one of them. Um, how you need to provide diversity. Um, you share your targets for employment, you share, you communicate pay gaps. Um, and that's what one of the things I loved right there. Imagine if, because I used to work for, um, I've worked twice for nonprofits. Your salary is published, right?
Why don't we do that in across the board? I mean, if everybody's salary was published in an organization, It would remove so many walls that we have. It might, it's, and a lot of people go, oh no. It's gonna create all kinds of consternation. People are gonna be focused on how much people make versus how much they do.
Once it becomes commonplace, and think about the, think about the level of accountability. When you say, I make X I need to prove that I'm worth making X. It's not just because I'm. A man or a woman or years of experience or whatever, that your worth is really tied to your performance, and it's something that is publicly published.
I've always loved that. I think the same thing about titles. Remember the guy who invented Gore-Tex? Nobody had titles. You called yourself whatever you wanted. They didn't have titles, they just, they were just, everybody got the job done. Um, One of the things that they talked about in the Accenture article as well is how they recruit, retain, advance women networks, um, specifically, but they also have networks for men and women.
So they don't just focus on programs only for what women are doing. Um, and then I love the piece about. If you wanna create a culture of equality, everybody gets the same level of parental leave. So why should a female be the one taking six, 12 weeks off for, you know, for having a new baby? Um, it's just as important in some cases, um, if not more so for the, the father to be able to take that time with their child as well, because they don't always get the same amount of time off.
Um, and we don't make it easy, uh, financially for people to always do that. And what I loved is being empowered to, I love this. Wear what they want to work. We get to wear jeans two days a week. I'm a huge proponent for wearing jeans three days a week. And I say, anybody who doesn't, who doesn't think it's professional, I'm might go put on a pencil skirt and three or four inch heels and tell me which day is more comfortable for you to operate.
Y'all get to wear the same thing every day. I'll say, oh sir, you can wear pants every day. Yeah, I could. You don't wanna see me in a pair of doctor doctors. It's just not awesome. You know, it's just like this. You still have this brand or this image, and so allow people to look how they want to look and feel, how they wanna feel.
'cause that's when you bring your best self forward, when your just authenticity is really the driver behind some of the things you're doing. Yeah, it's a, it's, uh, man, there's so many things I could jump off of on that, but I, I do wanna highlight at another story on this same topic. So, um, let's see. Uh, you did the Forbes story.
Here it is. Uh, so Korn Ferry Institute did a story on February 8th, the Breakthrough Formula. Women's CEOs a really great story because they, they highlight story, uh, about six, six different female CEOs and their, their rise to the top and how they got there. I, you know, I'll just highlight one of them. So, uh, Jackie Hinman, c e o of, um, I think I'm gonna say this right, CH two M Hill, uh, early in her engineering career.
Shortly out of college, Hinman sat down with senior manager for an end of year performance review when he told her to write down her career goals, Hinman answered honestly, she wanted to be a partner at the firm. The manager, who she believes was well-intentioned, said there's no doubt that she had the prowess.
This office was never, or yeah, this office was never gonna have a female partner in her lifetime. So he passed the bottle of correction fluid to give you, gives you the timeframe of it, you know, the whiteout, uh, across the desk and told, told the eager employee to write something that didn't make her look naive.
And, uh, it goes on to say the daughter of Italian immigrants who grew up next door to grandparents and romantic notions of the American dream. Hinman started looking for a new job the next day. Following her review. And when she saw that, uh, saw that man many years later, she said, thank you. Uh, I knew that he was right.
I couldn't make a partner there. Uh, not at that company. And I, you know, it's interesting 'cause I think. At least in this story. And I think really across the board, every, every woman has that kind of story in, in their career of saying, you know, you can't make it to this level or whatnot. And we look across the board and the number of female CEOs is, is, uh, still dramatically lower, uh, than their, their male counterparts.
And, and these kinds of stories and whatnot need to, need to stop. And, and, and actually your story notes, it's just bad for business. Yeah. Not, not promoting, um, People within the organization and having diversity, uh, of thought, diversity of background and experience. It's just bad for business. Um, but uh, you know, with that being said, I wanted to get a little bit more pragmatic.
'cause in my, in, in my experience, I. Um, this whole idea of pay equity is a almost a person by person situation, and it really impacts all people. If we published everybody's salary, people would be upset, but a lot of it's their own fault in terms, and I'm not saying, look, I I, I want to be real clear here.
There is, there is a, a, a gender issue here, and it needs to be addressed. There's a cultural issue. It needs to be addressed, but it takes some time. So if we wanna be pragmatic and talk about it, let's talk. Some of the problems that exist within companies. One is, um, you know, we shouldn't assume that we're gonna be able to make our way to the top through a single company.
And there's three things at work to keep that from happening. One is HR won't allow it. I know that's gonna sound interesting, but HR won't allow you to progress through the company. Let me give you an example. I was hiring for a VP role. And we had external candidates and we had internal candidates. The, the role had a range and the external candidates, it came down to two candidates, one internal, one external.
The range was gonna be right around $200,000 for vp, $6 billion company. So, um, so the external candidate, I went to HR and I said, well, it's 200,000, but the, the current, the internal candidate's making 150 and I wanna pay 'em 200. And they said, you can't do that. I could hire the external candidate at 200.
It made no sense. I'm like, well, I don't understand. They're like, well, the most you can give is a 20% pay increase. You can take 'em to to 180, but you can't take 'em to 200. And so HR policies need to be looked at in terms of if somebody is qualified for the role and you're gonna go externally and hire somebody.
Mm-hmm. , you know, HR needs to allow for that kind of promotion within. I'll say the other thing is culture won't allow it. My daughter is, is working at Sephora. She's just starting out and she's moving up in management. I hope she doesn't listen to the podcast. Um, but one of the harder things is she went from being a peer to being a manager of those same people.
The culture is very difficult on that, and so sometimes it's easier to, to go to a different store or go to a different, uh, location. Uh, and the second thing is experience won't allow it. A lot of times organizations aren't good at and need to get better at allowing people to get experience in a lot of different areas.
And they hesitate to move people around 'cause we brought you in as the data person or we brought you in as the E M R person. And in order to get to those C levels, I think you just need to have a breadth of experiences that most organizations, um, just don't allow. So, uh, I think the last thing I would say to people on, on this thing is you have to be willing to move.
My three biggest pay increases, my three biggest, uh, job title moves, uh, or, uh, things equated to me moving my family to a new location. And, uh, and, and actually all the leader, uh, uh, Deborah Proctor was the c e o at St. Joseph Health, and she talks about the story of she moved several times. For very good career moves, very good, pay increases, and that's what it takes in order to get, sometimes to get to that C level.
So I, I throw all those things out just to be a little bit more pragmatic. I do recognize that the, these stories of, Hey, take the white out, you know, you're never gonna make it. There is a, that's, that's, that's stuff just needs to end. But there's also some things that people just . Mistakes in ways people are thinking about money in the negotiations, I think that are, that are causing them some challenges.
Uh, I'll let you close, close this segment out. Every, every example you're giving, I'm thinking, yes, this, and yes this. And yes, this happened over here and this has happened over here. You know, I think what's most, uh, it's, it's hard for people that, um, that don't wanna be as mobile. And I say that because I've moved, uh, what, five times in 12 years now.
For, for various companies. And, um, my family knows that this is probably not our last move. And I'm saying this with my employer, like listening, saying, are you leaving? Whatever. No, that's not what I mean. But let's be honest, I'm going to be working for a, at the end of the day, a Fortune six company, um, whose headquarters are not in Los Angeles.
And so you always have a choice of where you want to live, but you also have a choice of taking certain roles based on geography a lot of time. And you have to make sure those line up with what you wanna do. I was, I, if you had told me even 15 years ago that you're gonna go live in four more states and all these things are gonna happen, I don't know that I would've believed that was a true statement.
Um, and I left someplace that I loved to go someplace that geography geographically I didn't love. And yet it was the best decision I ever made in my career. And once I got there, I created an entire life and had a wonderful time. And so you just have to be open to the fact that you can create your life and, and your career anywhere that you live.
But you're right. Um, I always joke that people never leave their companies for less money. . And, and it's sad that sometimes you have to, but when, as long as we continue to have that level of transparency, bill, when people say, because people do exit interviews, why are you leaving? I'm leaving because I don't like my manager.
I'm leaving because it's too hard to get things done. Most of the time, people are gonna also leave. Because they have an opportunity for title and money that no one would recognize them for in the organization that they're in today. Right. And that's a sad fact, both male and female. And I see it happen often really in healthcare because you wanna talk about a place that people poach like crazy.
Um, we all move around and the first phone call you get is, Hey, I'm at such and such. Do you wanna come work with me? And, and quite often if you built a, a strong following, people will move for you. Yeah. I'll tell you to, just to close this out, the, the, the last thing I think is nuts is when hiring managers, I've had hiring managers come in and, and they negotiate with new employees.
Like they're, they're buying a new product and they're like, Hey, I got the lowest price. They need to change that, that mindset. It needs to be, I. Uh, you're negotiating to have them feel the best about the company and the best about the culture and, and the best about themselves. And so they're, when you're negotiating there, it's not to get the best price, it's to how do you get to the point where they feel good about what just happened?
That they, they're coming into a company that caress about them, the values them. I've had people say to me, you know, I wanna make 65,000 a year. And I looked at 'em and said, okay, we're gonna pay you 75. And they feel great about themselves. Yeah. 'cause you know, quite frankly, I hope everybody can make the maximum amount they can make and that little thing, there is a story that they will tell their parents.
They will tell their family, they will tell their, you know, and, and they're gonna be like, this company cares about me, this company, you know, I asked for this, they gave me this. And somebody might look at me and say, Hey, that was irresponsible with the company's money. Was it really? I mean, you now have a, a, a, a energized employee who, who loves the company.
And you know, quite frankly in when you're looking at the kind of budgets we're looking at, you know that $10,000, that was a really good investment. Um, in terms of culture. Alright, I'm sorry. So, we'll , we spent a lot No, we can talk all day on, on those topics, which is good. We generate conversation. We could.
So we, we've cut this topic short. So let's talk about c i o priorities. The Becker's did a, a story, they interviewed some people and they said we're, uh, CIOs spending too much time. We're over investing and here are some of the things I'll just, we'll go back and forth real quick on some of these. They said, uh, they're spending too much time right now on blockchain, and a couple of them came up with this.
Do you think we're spending too much time there today? Yeah, we we're. Well, no, it's not that we're spending too much time. We're getting distracted. People get. People see their, uh, how do I say this? I see a lot of industry professionals looking to think, uh, show that they're ahead of the curve and that they're forward thinking.
They, 'cause they're talking about machine learning and natural language processing and AI and blockchain and this and that. And it's great to be informed. And that's the purpose of being tied to the agencies that we are. That's why we go to things like, you know, hymns and chime events because we wanna know what's out there.
At the end of the day, how many of us are going back and working on our blockchain and AI strategy within our organizations? Probably none of us, unless you're really fortunate to have some of that funding. I mean, I'll tell you right now, I'm my, this week my biggest challenge was how do I get four buildings moved and opened at the same time with 10 desktop technicians?
I mean, I'm not kidding you that No, I, I, so that's the reality. Like I literally had the conversation of. I have a hard hat from, from a previous lifetime of construction of IT projects. If I have to go to the site this weekend, 'cause we have temporary certification of occupancy and carry PCs up the stairs 'cause the elevators aren't working yet, guess what?
That's what I get to go do and I'm okay with that 'cause I can then pivot to, oh hey, here's a new distributor, distributed a general ledger opportunity for us to make sure that we're more secure in the world. But um, we focus on. Appearing, uh, industry relevant, which is important, but I think sometimes we forget about the blocking and tackling that's happening in terms of, um, razor thin margins on, on what c m s reimbursement is really doing, and, and how do we really eke out that next level of quality?
How do we, like, we're partnering with our health plans to understand how important medication adherence is for certain disease states, because when you get multiple comorbidities, you're more likely to have. Behavioral and mental issues, and those are the are most hospital time for recovery. It's not always, it's the blocking and tackling at all levels that, um, may not be as, as sexy to talk about.
So yeah, I can have a blockchain conversation, but I'm in the office, I'm really having a conversation about medication adherence. Wow. Okay. So I'm not gonna, so let me give you, I just, yes, no on this. Are we spending too much time on an internal data wear, internal, uh, enterprise data warehouse and big data strategies?
Are we spending too much time there or not enough time? It depends , because if you have a, if you have a warehouse, make sure it's clean and providing necessary relevant data, but at the most routine level than it needs to let it provide base level important information now versus data lakes of information.
Make sure the data you have is usable and clean. Yep, absolutely. So are we spending too much time on the E H R? Yes. Are we spending too much time on population health? It depends. So I would say yes, if you don't have an ability where you can man manage risk lives appropriately and have a strategy really defined, 'cause if you don't have the ability to manage the entire, uh, risk population and the tile journey of that patient's, uh, continuum of care, then you're gonna be in a, in a sticky wicket.
Agree. So, yeah. And you mentioned AI and machine learning. Are we spending too much time there or just We're just talking about it now? We're not really spending a lot of time on projects. We're talking about it. In some cases it's there, like when you look at being able to bring Alexa into the patient room and, and be able to take some of that time off of nurses and say, Hey, I need a blanket.
Hey, I need to use the restroom. There are some cool use cases, but it goes back to, again, it's those, uh, Maslow's needs that are gonna be covered by those need by those, uh, technologies First. Yeah, I had a great discussion with Patrick Anderson this week. Um, and we were going back and forth on the use cases of AI and machine learning.
Take a look at Ochsner. They're doing some interesting things and mm-hmm. , take a look at U P M C, obviously, uh, both of which are doing some interesting things with, uh, Microsoft. And then two weeks ago we talked to Halamka, who was doing some interesting things on the a w s Cloud. So anyway, the last question I want to ask you is, uh, what's one area do you think CIOs need to be really focused in on right now?
Patient experience. Okay. Consumer, obviously hyper consumerism is where I would focus it more because patient experience to me is a, a banner and a campaign and this and, and that no hyper consumerism driving everything to a digital experience because if we don't make it easy for patients like ourselves to use healthcare on our smart devices than people like, I shouldn't say people, companies like Apple are starting to do it for us, right?
And um, Yeah, this is gonna sound like a little bit of a commercial, so I won't mention my company again. But essentially what we talk to people about is, um, you know, . Actually being intentional about the experience you want your consumers to, to have instead of just allowing it to happen and going, oh, well, you know, that's just their experience.
But really identifying those points, those points of meaning where people go, Hey, I got a call back from my primary care physician the next day, and that makes all the difference in the world. And they become loyal to that company and loyal to that organization and that primary care physician for life.
Just because I know this is my parents' story. They got a phone call the next day. She did not have to call them, but she wanted to follow up. And they're like, and she did, she actually moved from one health system to another and they went from one health system to another to follow her. So, um, that's great.
This was a great, uh, discussion. I really appreciate your time. Let's close out, uh, last segment where we highlight our social media posts of the week. Uh, I'll go first here. So mine's actually , uh, I not a social media post. It's an obituary from, uh, From the Wall Street Journal, which my, uh, my wife Beth put on my, my desk.
And it's just a great story of, uh, you know, we should never retire and always be looking for something to do. It's Jack McConnell, a retired physician, Hilton Head, South Carolina in 1989. He retired. He thought he was gonna play some more golf, uh, and he just started chatting with some people in the neighborhood and he found out that people could not afford healthcare.
And so he went out and found some retired doctors. He put together a program and they started delivering care. That picked up steam, and then all of a sudden now they're in, uh, 89 affiliated clinics across 28 states. And, uh, I think it's just an example of a life well lived. And, um, I I just wanted to highlight that, that we have different phases of our career and, you know, there's the making money phase, then there's the giving back phase, and then there's the ultra giving back phase where, um, where I think Jack McConnell really excelled.
So that's why I'm gonna close with what's your, uh, social media post. Fine was that, uh, Elon Musk does not read business books. He wrote down, he lists the 11 books that he is read that are influential to him and things he likes to think about. And what I love, you know, how you look at certain, like, uh, celebrities in the, in the industry and you like to either emulate or, or think you're as smart as they are in some cases.
And, uh, business books are great, but at the MO, for the most part, I read war history books. Um, I just think that the whole thing is fascinating in general, but the leadership skills, like right now, I'm really fixated on, um, Eisenhower and just learning more and more about him, really the deep details. And when you're a continuous learner and you're curious and you apply either biographies or history or whatever, whatever gets you interested in things, um, And why it motivates you?
I thought it's fascinating that he thinks like Lord of the Rings and, and reading. Um, one of the things I loved was zero to one about entrepreneurism. I mean, he really focuses on the biographers of people that he has admired and about stories that allow you to do things that seem impossible. Yeah. Um, that's really cool.
And so, uh, the curiosity, the continuous learning and business books are, can be great, but for the most part, be curious about something other than what's happening around you every single day. Yeah. Zero to one great book and, uh, good advice that, and listen to podcasts, I guess. Um, yes. Both on that planet, right?
Yeah. So that's all for now. Uh, so Sarah, tell us how people can follow you and, and, and, and, you know, shout out to your podcast as well. Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, LinkedIn, Sarah Richardson, uh, on Twitter, I'm ex concierge leader. I have a website, concierge leadership.com. I do blogging, book reviews, podcasts, uh, and I am currently the chair for marketing and communications for Southern California chapter of himss.
We do have our own podcast channel on iTunes. We feature a new industry leader every month, and you can find us on iTunes at SoCal Hess. Sounds good. Awesome. Uh, you can follow, uh, you can follow me on Twitter at the patient cio. My writing on health lyrics website, health system c i o also picks up my stories and don't forget to follow the show, uh, on Twitter this week in health.
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